Sunday, February 4, 2007

Julie Amero – Substitute Teacher

Julie Amero, the substitute teacher found guilty of viewing pornographic material in a Norwich, CT. middle school is scheduled for sentencing March 2, 2007. She faces up to 40 years in jail. No matter how many times I try to comprehend what has happened to our lives since that dreadful day in October 2004, I am left with the feeling that Julie’s life, character, career and family were sacrificed to save face for the administration officials at the Norwich BoE.
As far as the evidence is concerned, we have had a copy of the hard drive of the teacher’s computer forensically examined by not one but two independent researchers. The defense initially had Mr. Herb Horner of Contemporary Computer Consultants examine the drive. Mr. Alex Eckelberry President of SunBelt Software had his team of forensic expert’s examine the copy of the drive and review Mr. Horner’s data. Both parties agree that the computer was running windows 98, was unpatched, and was running IE 5. The computer was infected with various spyware, malware, JavaScript’s etc. That Julie did not intentionally visit (keystroke) ANY pornographic web sites. The second analysis has turned up some additional evidence that I am not at liberty to discuss at this time, but it is significant.
One might think that this is great news. In a way it is, but the reality of the matter is that Julie has already been found GUILTY. We can not present any new evidence. The best we can hope for is leniency at sentencing.
What we can do is appeal, and that is exactly what we are doing. The outpouring of support from the judicial community has been over whelming. Many very qualified attorneys, firms and prestigious law schools from around the country have offered their help. We have accepted one such offer and have a verbal agreement with a California Law firm (who will remain unnamed until we have confirmation) that is going to handle the appeal.
Defending Julie against this gross abortion of justice has been very expensive. Up to this point, a valid defense fund was not required, but we have used up most of our life’s savings and we are coming up to sentencing in less than four weeks. We are hoping to bond Julie out of jail while she awaits her appeal. I have established a PayPal account in Julie’s name. Please visit the site below and contribute what you can. All donations will be utilized exclusively for Julie’s defense. Any remaining contributions will be donated to organizations that are dedicated to vindicating unjustly accused victims of technology.

Wes Volle
Julie Amero’s Husband


MarkK said...

Petitioning bad people to do good rarely works. You need to have the bad people investigated.

Sample letter:

Connecticut State Bar
30 Bank Street
PO Box 350
New Britain CT 06050-0350
Phone: (860) 223-4400
Fax: (860) 223-4488

Dear sir/madam,

I request you launch an immediate investigation into the actions of State's Attorney David Smith as per the case of Julie Amero. He has made numerous false statements to the press, the jury, and the judge in this case. Such misconduct is wrong and needs to be immediately investigated by your office.

In one such false statement, State's Attorney David Smith reportedly told the jury, "You have to physically click on it to get to those sites," when referring to the web sites that showed up on Ms. Amero's computer. Other times he went further, and suggested not only that Amero clicked on the web site links (URLs), but that she physically typed them in.

The CEO of the maker of the forensic software that Norwich Police Detective Mark Lounsbury used to examine Julie Amero's computer stated that, while the software can find all sorts of files and images, including deleted images or images in unallocated disk space, by keyword or by filetype, [it] does not determine the cause of those files being on the computer (whether caused by malware, intrusion, or direct and willful use), and that it is not the function of [the software] to make that determination." In other words, the software cannot show if Ms. Amero clicked on anything nor typed anything in.

Nevertheless, both the detective (Mark Lounsbury) and the prosecutor (David Smith) were unequivocal in their statements to the press and the jury that the forensic evidence demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that the substitute teacher deliberately "typed in" the porn sites. They knew these statements were false, and yet they made them anyway.

Norwich Police Detective Mark Lounsbury has gone further, though. He reportedly also said that he can differentiate between what is and what is not a pop-up based on the source codes [sic]. There is absolutely no factual basis for this claim.

There is no room in our legal system for misrepresentation of the facts by prosecutors. Ignorance of computer forensic evidence is no excuse for falsely convicting an innocent person. The statements David Smith made are all false, and are not backed-up by the evidence. To make such an assertion to win a case is wrong, it is prosecutorial misconduct of the severest form, and is therefore cause for disbarment.

In addition we will be petitioning the U.S. Department of Justice to open a civil rights investigation into the actions of the State's Attorney, David Smith, and Norwich Police Detective Mark Lounsbury in this matter.

Deanna said...

Well said.